Monday, May 14, 2007
Happy (Belated) Mother's Day!
My mother, who once gave me a tee shirt similar to the one pictured at right, will find the belated mention of Mother's Day on my blog amusing.
In my defense, I did wish her a happy Mother's Day on time over the phone, but she can still claim the moral high ground as she was traveling and so was the one who placed the phone call!
On a more serious note, I wish a happy Mother's Day to her and any other mothers who happen by. On the subject, I highly recommend Joe Kellard's tribute to his late mother, Rita.
In one very important respect, his mother reminds me of both of my parents: She gave her son room to grow up as a unique individual. In Rita's words, "Be your own person."
As someone who is planning to have children in the not so distant future, I look with awe on anyone who successfully walks the tightrope of doing enough to prepare a child for adulthood, while also pulling back enough to allow that child to become his own person.
This is not a task to be underestimated.
Thank you again, Mom!
Fort Dix Hero: "[I]s that being racist?"
The man who called an Islamofascist training video to the attention of authorities hesitated from doing so thanks to the fact that the left has, over decades (1) perverted the meaning of the word "racist" to mean "one who judges another person, period", and (2) made it easy to sue "racists" on "civil rights" grounds. Riehl World View quotes the New York Post:
When the teen and another employee went into a back room and began the conversion of the tape, they saw a group of bearded men wearing "fundamentalist attire" and shooting "big, f-ing guns," the teen later told co-workers.The goal of the civil rights movement has long ago moved from the morally proper one of securing equal government protection for the rights of all individuals to simply institutionalizing improper government favors for groups other than those who allegedly benefited from Jim Crow Laws. This example shows just how close we came -- thanks to the widespread moral uncertainty and fear of prosecution such efforts have created -- to seeing American soldiers massacred on our own soil.
Throughout the 90-minute-long tape, above the booming gunfire at a Pennsylvania target range, the jihadists could be heard screaming "God is great!"
The two employees "freaked out," their co-worker recalled.
At first, the teenage clerk didn't know what to do, his pal said.
"Dude, I just saw some really weird s-," he frantically told his co-worker. "I don't know what to do. Should I call someone or is that being racist?"
The fellow employee tried to calm his friend and told him that if what he saw terrified him so much, he should tell the police.
The teen first consulted with a manager before making the 911 call.
FBI agents got a copy of the tape from Circuit City, and went to the teen's house and interviewed him at length. [Riehl's bold]
It is exactly this result that is being pursued by the Islamofascist Six as they attempt to sue the individual passengers of US Airways. As I said yesterday, "Anyone who thinks that American Moslems are friends of freedom simply because we haven't seen British-style domestic terrorism from them so far is sadly mistaken."
Cartman's Three Squares
This news story from north of the border reminded me of the South Park episode in which Eric Cartman fakes mental retardation in order to compete in the Special Olympics, only to come in last in every event and win the Spirit Award, which he sees as an indignation.
A Vancouver man was sentenced Friday to 13 months in prison for pretending to be mentally retarded in order to claim disability benefits.Even if support for the disabled were where it belongs, in private hands, there would sometimes be cases of fraud like this, although I would suspect that there would be fewer. Furthermore, the social security system itself would not be funded via mandatory Ponzi scheme.
Pete J. Costello, 28, pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to defraud the government and to Social Security fraud. He began receiving disability benefits when he was 8. He was ordered to repay the $59,226 he has received since turning 18.
Costello, who cannot read or write, dictated a letter to his public defender that was submitted to the judge before sentencing and filed in court.
"I know that it was wrong to 'act like a child' in the Social Security office when that is not how I really am," the letter said. "I feel very bad about this and want to do everything I can to pay this money back."
Costello's mother, Rosie Costello, 46, who also pleaded guilty, is to be sentenced Thursday for coaching her son and daughter to feign mental retardation. Authorities have not found the daughter.
Pete Costello continued to fake retardation into his mid-20s -- picking at his face, slouching and appearing uncommunicative in meetings with Social Security officials.
The scheme came to light last year after he got a traffic ticket in Vancouver, then was videotaped acting normally when he contested the ticket in court. [bold added]
I don't know the details of how Canadian social security is funded, but the ultimate irony here is that Costello may have found, behind bars, a more financially sound way to feed at the public trough!
One final note as an aside: I somehow never noticed when watching that episode of South Park that Cartman's tee shirt had the face of the Kool-Aid pitcher on it! What a riot!
Mighty Jokes from Little Acorns Grow
(Or something like that....)
Mike N unearths a blog on letters sent home from school to parents of celebrities when they were children and points out this gem on Harry Reid (D-NV):
We're afraid we must ban Harry from all school sporting events. Every time one of our teams falls behind, he starts yelling, "It's over! The game is lost!" It really is harming the morale of our players. I hope we can count on your cooperation.He has just returned from a rather busy week, so stop by there and take a look around, if you haven't in awhile.
Somehow, this comes as no surprise.
Tom Rowland discusses some problems he has encountered with Windows Vista, which the Inspector aptly calls "a near doppleganger of OS 9".
I use Linux and my wife currently uses software that has to run on Windows. When it's time to replace her computers, Windows on a virtual machine under Linux or on a Mac is the way we'll go.
We recently had a hard disk crash on a Dell Laptop, which dual-boots into Linux or Windows XP. I had no troubles restoring the Linux side, but despite reinstalling XP twice (in case I missed software or drivers), I still haven't figured out why it can't network any more unless I disable our wireless router's encryption.
As a commenter on Noodle Food recently put it:
[F]or whatever reason, Windows machines need a lot of tweaking, [continuously], and they often are set up to hide things from you if you don't know the proper dead-chicken-wave to find it--and in fact most people have no idea a setting even exists. (Hiding file extensions by default is one egregious example.) It is as if they were deliberately trying to create a market for Windows Gurus and ensure that they would be necessary just to keep a machine running.I agree. By contrast, if I have a problem on Linux, I have good documentation at my disposal, as well as email lists where I can post questions for when I am really stumped. I once had a guy from Iceland tell me over email exactly what my problem was and how to fix it within fifteen minutes of posting my problem. I didn't have to get onto the phone or pay anyone anything. And it worked.
Microsoft can run its business any way it sees fit, but I do not like being treated like an idiot and having things hidden from me. Their way of making things "easy" for customers seems to go way beyond them taking the load off inexperienced users and into undercutting the ability of more advanced ones to fix simple things, which undercuts their self-confidence so they remain dependent on scribe-like "experts".
Dark Humor at the UN
Andrew Dalton notices that the United Nations has picked Zimbabwe, which recently confiscated farms from white landowners and suffers from hyperinflation, to be in charge of "sustainable economic development".
Well, I guess if your definition of "sustainable economic development" includes a vast culling of the species Homo sapiens, you'd be hard-pressed to make a better choice.
Funniest Headline Ever
If anything is funnier than an NPR listener pronouncing anything that seems like it might be Spanish with an affected Castilian accent, it's a copy editor who proofs with such an accent: "Royals To Get A Taste Of Angels' Colon". (HT: Hannes Hacker and Radley Balko)
Today: Added a clarification and fixed two typos.
5-15-07: Corrected an attribution.